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Archive for October, 2008

Halloween/Masquerade Ball

Friday, October 31st, 2008

October 31, 2008 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Atlanta World Trade Center. 

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Halloween Party

Friday, October 31st, 2008

October 31, 2008 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the SunTrust Plaza, Garden Atrium. 

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Third Annual New Beginnings

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

October 30, 2008 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Cator Woolford Gardens at the Fazer Center. 

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Autumn Wine Dinner

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

October 30, 2008 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Ray’s on the River. 

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Waste Or Product?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

October 29, 2008 at 8:30a.m. at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. www.greenfoodservicealliance.org

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Off-Premises Catering Roundtable

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

October 29 6:00 a.m. at A Legendary Event

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Il Mulino to Open in Atlanta in Late November

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

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In late November, internationally renowned Italian restaurant group Il Mulino New York, the 26-year-old Greenwich Village dining destination with successful outposts in Long Island, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, Washington DC, Orlando, San Juan, Tokyo and Atlantic City, will debut its 11th location in Atlanta’s glamorous 191 Peachtree Tower.

Executive Chef Michele Mazza will pay homage to the Abruzzo region of Italy with his menu of rustic, yet refined dishes.  Chef Mazza and his team of  chefs will prepare an array of homemade pastas, hearty meats and fresh fish using top quality ingredients and flavorful sauces.  Equally important to the cuisine will be the restaurant’s gracious hospitality.  This winning combination has made Il Mulino New York’s original location the number one Italian restaurant in New York City as voted by readers of Zagat Survey for more than two decades.

Il Mulino New York will have a handsome decor with dark hardwood floors, black wrought iron chandeliers, grand wall tapestries, white tablecloths and a tuxedo-clad wait staff.  Tableside presentations of signature dishes such as Rack of Lamb and English Dover Sole, an impressive wine list with over 150 selections and complimentary antipasto selections to start each meal will set Il Mulino New York apart from other dining options in Atlanta.

For dessert, the restaurant will offer a selection of traditional Italian sweets and dessert wines by the glass or bottle.

Atlanta’s Il Mulino New York will have three private dining areas, as well as seating in 191’s spectacular atrium area and Il Mulino’s signature bar.  In total, the restaurant will accommodate up to 180 guests in a sprawling selection of connected, intimate dining spaces.

Il Mulino New York at 191 will be open for both lunch and dinner.  For more information, please visit www.ilmulino.com.

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FLIP to Lead the “Hamburger Rebirth” in Atlanta

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Restaurant industry veteran Barry Mills will open his first restaurant, FLIP, a modern burger boutique this fall. FLIP offers diners more than the basic hamburger, think, “fine dining between two buns.”

“I was initially inspired by the ‘hamburger rebirth’ that started in L.A. and then spread to New York City. But, what I didn’t like about those concepts was that they were still bound to the traditional diner-style image and weren’t updating the restaurant around the modernized burger menus,” says Barry Mills, owner of FLIP. “So, I decided that if I was going to reinvent a burger menu, then I better modernize and redefine the entire restaurant.”

FLIP’s creative director, Richard Blais, is one of the country’s most inventive chefs who is playing a significant role in the development of the menu and the operations of the kitchen.

The unique menu will feature modern burgers served on a variety of artisinal brioche buns, sandwiches, sides and salads created by Blais. “The menu I developed for FLIP was a challenge I was up for,” Blais said. “It was fun to take something so common, like the burger, and give it a modern twist.” Some feature items include organic beef with homemade ketchup and mayonnaise; a po “boyger” with grilled shrimp, fried lemon and spicy tartar sauce; a lamb burger with green olive relish and raisin ketchup on a rosemary bun; and an authentic Kobe burger, utilizing fresh beef imported from Japan, dressed with herbal butter, red onion marmalade and blue cheese. For top flavor and freshness, FLIP will grind their signature FLIP beef burger using short ribs, hanger steak and brisket. Balancing out the menu, a variety of vegetable burgers will also be available, creating a selection suitable for all taste palates. The burgers will be smaller than the traditional burger to encourage diners to indulge in more than one.

Mills enlisted the design experts at ai3, Inc. to execute the interior design plan for FLIP. Dave Heimbuch, at ai3, Inc. comments: “Like the food, Barry and Richard have envisioned a space that harnesses modern sophistication with a light-hearted approach toward the dining experience. They want people’s first taste of the menu to be the space. So, we brought the unconventional and edginess of the cuisine to the design using reflecting ceiling elements, bold colors and finishes, and playful graphics. The result is a design that’s invigoratingly modern, yet like the menu, doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Located on the west side of Atlanta at 1587 Howell Mill Road, FLIP will be a contemporary, hip space that incorporates elements of fine dining with a creative, raw energy.  For more info, visit www.flipburgerboutique.com.

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Georgia Pecan Commission Partners with Chef Scott Peacock

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Chef Scott Peacock, executive chef of Watershed restaurant in Decatur, Ga., has partnered with the Georgia Pecan Commission to promote the importance of a nutritious, energy-packed breakfast. Peacock is a southern food expert whose vision of Southern cuisine emphasizes fresh, seasonal and regionally grown ingredients, including Georgia pecans.

Peacock has created two pecan-inspired breakfast recipes: Georgia Pecan Muesli and Georgia Pecan Breakfast Spread. In addition to Peacock’s recipes, a new breakfast brochure and other recipes are available on the Georgia Pecan Commission’s Web site, GeorgiaPecansFit.org. The recipe for Georgia Pecan Muesli was inspired by Peacock’s signature brunch menu item at Watershed restaurant. Both recipes emphasize Chef Peacock’s passion for flavorful southern dishes with quality yet healthful ingredients.

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AFC Enterprises/Popeyes Announces 3Q Financial Results

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

AFC Enterprises, Inc., the franchisor and operator of Popeyes restaurants, announced preliminary earnings per share and operational results for its fiscal third quarter which ended October 5, 2008.The Company estimates earnings per diluted share to be $0.16 for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 which is in line with consensus expectations, compared to $0.23 for the third quarter last year.

Total domestic same-store sales decreased 2.8 percent for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to a decrease of 1.9 percent last year, and total global same-store sales decreased 1.9 percent compared to a decrease of 1.7 percent last year.

During the third quarter, the Popeyes system opened 28 new restaurants, including 12 units domestically and 16 units internationally, compared to 32 new restaurants last year.  In the quarter, the Company had 24 permanent restaurant closures.

On a system-wide basis, Popeyes had 1,905 units operating at the end of the third quarter, compared to 1,881 units last year.  Total unit count was comprised of 1,571 domestic units and 334 international units in 25 foreign countries and two territories.  Of this total, 1,849 were franchised and 56 were company-operated restaurants.

Fiscal 2008 Guidance

The Company expects its full year earnings to be $0.75-$0.77 per diluted share which is in the range of the Company’s previous guidance.

The Company expects total domestic same-store sales for fiscal 2008 to be at the lower-end of previous guidance of negative 1.0 to 2.0 percent. Consistent with previous guidance, the Company expects global new openings to be 115-130 restaurants and net openings to be 5-15 restaurants.

The Company now expects general and administrative expenses as a percentage of system-wide sales to be approximately 3.3 percent compared to previous guidance of 3.0 to 3.1 percent.  This increase in general and administrative expense reflects the Company’s investment of $2.3 million in national cable advertising and new menu board development.  Additionally, a majority of Popeyes’ franchisees have joined with the Company and invested an additional 1% of their sales.

Cheryl Bachelder, AFC Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are satisfied with our solid earnings performance in the third quarter, in light of the unprecedented economic challenges faced by our customers and the profitability pressures impacting our restaurant operators.  We expect to meet our earnings guidance for the balance of the year, as we operate within the resilient Popeyes business model which continues to deliver stable and predictable cash flows.  As we move into 2009, our goal is to remain tightly focused on the four strategic pillars of our plan to build the brand, run great restaurants, strengthen unit economics and align our people and resources to deliver results.”

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